TritonAudio D2O Tube-Fet 500 V1
I took a chance on the Triton D2O V1. I was looking for a tube pre to add to my newly formed collection of 500 series preamps. V1 of the D2O came as either a Tube-Fet version or a Fet version. Just to be clear this is the Tube-Fet version of this pre.
You can check out the website for a more detailed description of the features, but let me go through them to the best of my ability. The gain is handled by a 12 stepped attenuator. It's awesome to have it stepped, make is easier to recall settings! At the top you have a push button switch for Transformer Ratio selection 1:5 or 1:1.2, that switch also changes the input impedance. Next is the polarity reverse. Then a 60 db or 50 db switch, 50 db for louder sources and 60 db if you need all available gain from the pre. And lastly the phantom power switch in which there is a green led to indicate that it is present. The tube inside is not a 12AX7, it's a smaller sub-miniature tube, never the less it still gets a little of that tube transient smoothness and warmth.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed setting this up with a AT3060 condenser on a Roland Jazz chorus amp. I thought the sound would give the that jazz tone I was looking for. Instead I found it bland, unflattering and quite frankly too wooly. Not at all to my liking. I instead decided to put it on vocal duties. I was just tracking some scratch ideas and used a MD421, bass rolled off on the mic, then into this pre. Wow! Warmth, articulation, smoothness, nice top end! I couldn't believe I was getting this good a sound out of the 421 and Triton combo. Again, perfect for this tenor/baritone vocalist. I did test out the difference between the different ratios and I seems to like the lower 1:1.2 ratio for vox. A little smoother, less of a bite.
Next session, I wanted to see what it could do on the drums overheads. I've always hated the sound I get out of the drum overheads, I just can't seem to get them right. When I slapped the D2O on a 3060's, best overhead sound I've ever got. I love the way the pre slightly compresses the snare and cymbals, and the cymbals didn't sound overly harsh. Normally I wouldn't dream of using the 3060 for overheads, now I'm sold on this combo. I have attached a sample of the drum overhead sound, click on the paperclip on the review main page to download it.
One gripe I do have about the pre is that when switching from the 60 to 50 and vice versa, there is a loud pop. But other than that I love this pre!
This is an excellent pre of the money. I love the unique features and the stepped attenuator. I gave it a 9 out of 10 on features because I would have liked a way to switch the 60-50 db without a loud pop. I dig the vibe and color of this pre. It has been, in my opinion, a life saver. In future projects I can't wait to try it on acoustic guitar and you can be sure it will be on vocals and on the drums.